Winterview with Author John Cordial

To celebrate 13 weeks of winter, Hàlön Chronicles will be conducting one interview a week for 13 weeks. We’ve also partnered with additional artists and authors for a few surprises throughout the winter. Join us on the hashtag #13Winterviews, or check out our blog hop for a sneak peek at who’s on the roster in the coming weeks.

Hosted by: K. J. Harrowick

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hey all! I’m John Cordial, author, writer, editor, bookworm, word-enthusiast, and general penslinger extraordinaire! Also I go a bit overboard on my introductions, that’s another fun trait. I live in mid-California and I’m an indie-author, so I get a cool beard. That’s how that works, right?

2. What types of books do you write, and why?

Uh, that’s a tough one. I thought my fiction was pretty dark, but I mix a lot of humor and hope into the stories. Violence too. I like a good blend in the stories I read, and the elements blend nicely with my style, I think.

There’s also quite a few female characters in my work. I wanted to avoid the classic setup of one female hero and like nine dudes to support her/fight for her affections, so I always give my female MCs a few strong ladies in their life… and I likes to write them lots. Kinda got away from me, but they really are the type of stories I love. Always liked the female characters better, might as well write them.

3. What were your early influences, and how does this manifest in your work today?

Disney’s Gargoyles was the first show I really fell in love with. The odd characters, and the deep stories, and of course Elisa and Demona—just the whole thing appealed to me at that age. Also my first urban fantasy and I really fell in love with that. Still appeals to me. Lots of Shakespeare and plenty of interesting characters still.

First series was Chronicles of Narnia. Fantasy was a big theme growing up. I loved the later books, Silver Chair and Last Battle were my favorites although I didn’t really understand the themes. I was able to read them from 5, I learned really young to read the comic books my father sent, but it was just words. I didn’t understand much beyond the adventure.

Around my teens I found Neil Gaiman, Christopher Moore, and Barry Hughart. Also the Harry Potter series. Those masterpieces and a steady diet of short story anthologies lead me to start writing. Harry Potter fanfiction was my first, but it was fun. Garth Nix and Diana Wynne Jones came on the scene a bit late and I still adore them all.

Anime and Manga deserve a mention too. I got into Western comics as a kid, but it didn’t strike the same chords.

And next I got into Janet Evanovich and from there Cozy Mysteries, and then from there onto ‘serious’ mysteries. I like them all still, I prefer noir these days, but cozies are my mind candy.

4. Are there aspects of the craft that excite you more than others?

I’m a very excitable person, so it’s hard to say. Even love editing these days. *cackles a little too long*

It’s all writing and it’s all to make a story better. Long as I’m in the story work stages, I’m happy. Marketing and the other stuff, not so much… but when I’m deep in the creative aspects, that’s where I’m most myself and excitement, joy, all of that is a little meaningless. There’s just this easy flow to everything, like I’m lost in a smile or just staring at the night sky. Peace, is the word I’m looking for. I’m content and truly at peace.

5. What books or websites are your go-to places while editing?

Top two are: – A fantastic [site] for blending psychology into your characters, and for identifying what disorders a character might be suffering. Also lots of great stuff in mind of the writer, for motivation and all. The genius behind the site also runs a fantastic twitter chat: #StoryCrafter – Got pretty much everything else, tons of articles on the technical aspects of writing and publishing. Also on pretty much everything else you can imagine related to writing, seriously, it’s just a lot to sum up myself and I’m sure I’m butchering it so check it out. Also second genius, and a second brilliant chat: #StorySocial

6. Tell us about your writing space (music/snacks/interruptions/etc.)

There’s a grumpy tabby and a cup of coffee in various states of growing colder. I write in bed and that’s where he likes to chill out. My normal routine is 45 minute sprints with 15 minutes of very light exercise (pacing while I refill chug/refill said coffee cup).

I listen to music a lot, too. It helps me focus and I use playlists to remember character traits and stay in voice.

My cat interrupts me. He’s anti-technology, doesn’t get why I’d pet the keyboard and not him.

7. So I understand you like baking?

I’m learning to bake. I tweet about that a lot. It’s a fun hobby and productive. I feels super good about the results, too… well, yeah, they’re delicious. I’ve made pretzels, apple fritters, rolls, cinnamon pull apart bread, and focaccia. I’ve got this vague dream of owning a book themed diner and cafe. Like I’d serve food from famous books, or just based on what I think the characters in them would eat. Probably be violating a non-literal fuckton of trademarks, but it’s an idea. Also I’d sell books, so you could like pick up a book, have lunch based on the book’s cuisine, and then I’ll figure out something else to sell on the way out. Also have complimentary laminated bookmarks for take out menus. It’s a far off dream.

8. Tell us about your current WIP or your latest book release.

Current WIP is Museum of Starving Things and it’s actually the sequel to my last release, Tybalt Perdition. The story follows Caldyr Prayers as she attempts to live a normal human life, whatever that means, and open up her own detective agency.

It’s all part of the Glass Fate series, an urban fantasy-noir, my own blend of high magic, and low morals set in California, where I live actually. I wanted to write a series to start, give readers a few books to get used to me. After that, I’ll surely think of something clever and probably with a few sad bits. (I kinda love writing the sad bits.)

Check out the Glass Fate series >

Thanks for reading and thank you K.J. for the fantastic Winterview! Have a good one, all!

Curious to know more about John Cordial? Be sure to visit his website, connect with him on Twitter, or check out his books on Amazon.

Don’t forget to check out this year’s Winterviews and partner interviews. You can also follow this blog and be the first to know when new content is released.

4 comments to Winterview with Author John Cordial

  • John Cordial  says:

    Thanks so much for the chance to appear on your lovely blog, K.J

    • K.J. Harrowick  says:

      Happy to do it. This was a fun interview! 🙂

  • Maria Guglielmo  says:

    Wonderful interview and I loved reading about the writing links! Definitely checking those out!

  • Lexi  says:

    Hey John, I loved your interview! You are such a fun person! Your books sound super good, sad, and funny! I’m totally in. When it is open, I also am the first person there at your book themed diner and café! (I am at the door already. Open. Open. Open. No pressure giggles) That is all code for I think that is an awesome idea and you so have to do it! It sounds like a great space to write and nibble some great food too! Great editing resource shares, I get you about the furbabies not understanding the pet the keyboard vs them. My yorkie pups are the same way. Haha. Last thing, I am so happy that you enjoy every aspect of writing and that it brings you peace. I totally understand that feeling. Happy writing John! Great interview! KJ, your questions rock! Giggled the entire time, perhaps too long (see what I did there) Giggles. Fun, fun, fun! 😀

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